Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Pressemitteilungen

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Albrecht Daniel Thaer - Institut für Agrar- und Gartenbauwissenschaften | Pressemitteilungen | Archiv | Archiv 2016 | Ecological factors driving long-term change in temperate forest plant communities

Ecological factors driving long-term change in temperate forest plant communities

Public lecture held by Dr. Don Waller (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Wann 28.04.2016 von 17:15 bis 19:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Wo Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 1/3, 10117 Berlin, Auditorium (ground floor)
  • Termin zum Kalender hinzufügen iCal

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IRI THESys cordially invites you to its first public lecture of the upcoming semester held by Dr. Don Waller (University of Wisconsin-Madison) on Thursday, 28 April 2016!

 

Ecological factors driving long-term change in temperate forest plant communities

 

Various stresses alter the composition, structure, and function of many ecosystems. Temperate forests are often assumed to resist these stresses because they are adapted to disturbances and support low plant diversity. Long-term data, however, are scarce and forests tend to change slowly, making it difficult to test this assumption. Our resurveys of hundreds of sites initially surveyed by John Curtis and his students in the 1950s reveal several patterns of long-term ecological change across Wisconsin's forests. Species differ in how they have shifted in distribution and abundance over the past 50-60 years. Both alpha and beta diversity have declined across most sites, but sites differ in the nature and extent of change. We use these differences among species and sites to infer the drivers of ecological change in these forests. Climate change, ecological succession, habitat fragmentation, invasions of non-native species, overabundant deer, and atmospheric N deposition all appear to be affecting these forests, but their relative strength varies among species, sites and landscapes. We are now assessing the roles of plant functional traits and phylogenetic relatedness in the forces driving community assembly and disassembly.

Dr. Don Waller is an ecologist in the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who teaches courses in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. His research focuses on threats to plant and animal diversity, the impacts of deer browsing and invasive species, and the fate of small populations. His research in evolutionary biology and population genetics focuses on the evolution of mating systems and the genetic threat of inbreeding.